About a year ago, I reviewed the predecessor first ever wireless external hard disk – the first ever WD My Passport Wireless. Now, WD returns with the brand new WD My Passport Wireless Pro – and in my opinion, it’s inching closer to a photographer’s wet dream.
Staring off with the packaging – the WD My Passport Wireless Pro has the iconic blue colour that WD uses for many of its products – at least those prior to their recent redesign.
The packaging is fairly similar to its predecessor – one cardboard box and everything inside is held by a large, hard clamshell-like plastic. WD removed the peekaboo flap this time around though.
All of the other things that is included in the box is the exact same as its predecessor, albeit with some design changes for both the charger and the WD My Passport Wireless Pro.
The WD My Passport Wireless Pro did have quite a big change in terms of its aesthetics and size. Currently, it measures slightly larger than a CD/DVD’s diameter, making it much larger than its predecessor. However, the predecessor is a little thicker.
In terms of weight, the WD My Passport Wireless Pro is about 100 grams heavier than its predecessor at the same capacity. This fundamental change might be due to WD stepping up their performance and require more space to occupy all the hardware.
Here’s a quick comparison with its predecessor. Quite a huge difference, I have to say.
The brand new WD My Passport Wireless Pro now features two USB ports – one standard USB 3.0 micro-B for standard data transfers, and another standard USB 2.0 Type-A. The latter actually makes it to become a power bank, or for OTG purposes.
If the WD My Passport Wireless Pro is turned off, that button will tell you the remaining battery level through 4 of its blue LEDs adjacent to that button. If the Wireless Pro is turned on, that button will copy all of the contents from the USB port or SD card into the WD My Passport Wireless Pro.
Oh right, I should mention that it has a SD 3.0 card slot, and there’s a button to offload everything into the WD My Passport Wireless Pro with a press of a button. I have to say, this feature is definitely the biggest value-adder compared to its predecessor.
After connecting the WD My Passport Wireless Pro through WiFi, I’m greeted by a very similar interface compared to the other WD MyCloud-based products. Very clean and simple to use.
We’re going to split up its performance test into 2 parts – wired, and wireless.
Performance-wise, there has been some changes. Firstly. the read/write speeds have been slightly improved from ~102MB/s to ~118MB/s, and overall performance for 4K read/writes aren’t bad either. Overall, wired performance has improved from its predecessor, albeit not by much.
Then, onward to its wireless performance this. This is the biggest highlight by WD themselves, as they now tout its brand new AC WiFi compatibility.
While I don’t really have a proper test bench for the numbers on just how fast the AC WiFi really is, I tried a little different. I connected directly to the WD My Passport Wireless Pro through its 2.4GHz and 5GHz connections and copied files individually to have a look at its speeds. It works flawlessly and I like how seamless the connection really is.
I got ~3.06MB/s max on its predecessor’s 2.4GHz-only 802.11n WiFi connection, and ~2.16MB/s on 2.4GHz and easily hitting ~8.52MB/s on its 5GHz brand new AC WiFi connection.
So far I’ve found the connection to be rather stable and strong enough for close-range wireless transfers. When some distance is introduced, there is a slight dip in transfer speeds, but it’s still reliable.
Also, I realized that WD fixed the heat issue this time around, as it goes to about 30 degrees at most.
One of the most important factor when it comes to portable devices – and surprisingly, the WD My Passport Wireless Pro packs in a humongous 6,400mAh battery! That’s nearly double from its predecessor from the previous generation, but is is enough?
Throughout my tests, I found out two things – the battery life lasts for about 3-4 hours at most. That’s also considering the fact that I used Performance mode rather than Battery Life optimization mode, and I was streaming 4K video at ~50MB/s bitrate as my benchmark. At least the brand new 12.24W charger is tinier than before though, and has adapters to convert the prongs to different power outlets.
I’m really impressed by its battery life to say the least. Do take now that the time taken to charge completely is pretty much the same as charging an iPad – it takes a long time to charge, and it has no fast charging support. I expected this actually, and it’s absolutely fine.
I did have some vision or expectation for the now-known-as WD My Passport Wireless Pro while I reviewed its predecessor. I stated a few things, and let’s compare the new with the old and see how it fares out.
- Boot/shutdown times – Identical.
- Size – Got a lot larger actually, but new one feels sturdier.
- Better battery life – Improved drastically, but so did the overall size.
- Simpler pairing method – Still the same.
- Transfer speed – Wireless has improved drastically, wired is slightly better.
- Ports – WD added a new USB-A so that it can become a power bank if you wish. Or just to copy files back and forth.
It’s fair to say that the increment on from the previous WD My Passport Wireless to the WD Pro is unapparent at first. I however consider the upgrade to be quite monumental. Its extra large battery, AC WiFi, and most importantly the USB-A port are definitely welcomed upgrades.
You can get yourself a WD My Passport Wireless Pro for ~RM 1,108 right here with this deal! It’s from overseas though.